A two-minute and 40 second video clip of the angry taxi driver punching the hotel's staff had gone viral after it was posted on a Thai-language Facebook (translated: Phuket Community page) by user Petch Dimond. The video was posted with the message: “Staff call tuk tuk to take tourists to the shopping mall for B200, Taxi driver upset and slap Holiday Inn staff... this is outrageous.”
The clip shows hotel staff leading a group of foreigners to a tuk tuk in front of the taxi driver. The driver then approaches a staff member and, after a few moments, begins to assault him.
Kathu Police Lt Col Suthichai Tienpo said the incident happened at 12:40 pm on January 12 in front of the Holiday Inn Hotel on Taweewong Rd in Patong. The victim,Tawatchai Khawnchum, 38, Human Resource Director at the hotel, filed a complaint after he was injured in the face.
Lt Col Suthichai said, “After the investigation we were able to identify the suspect as 50-year-old Chamni Khaidam,a taxi driver who is frequently stationed in front of the hotel. Chamni turned himself in to police the next day (Jan 13) to face assault charges.
"Mr Tawaichai said that the tourists wanted the tuk tuk so he called it for them which made Chamni angry and he punched him. Chamni said he was upset when he saw hotel staff chose to call a tuk tuk when a taxi was right there," said Lt Col Suthichai.